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Promising technologies not enough on their own to bring about widespread change in livestock systems

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Published on Jun 12, 2016

Speaking in the margins of the December 2009 SLP meeting in Addis Ababa, Alan Duncan (ILRI) introduces the IFAD-funded 'Fodder Adoption Project' based at ILRI. He outlines the approach followed in the project - trying to strike a balance between the technological and institutional angles. The project helps groups of stakeholders - farmers, private sector, dairy coops, the government - get together in 'innovation platforms' where they can develop joint actions that address livestock fodder problems. Initially the project went with a traditional approach, focusing on technologies. As the process evolved, other issues came in, more actors joined the platforms, and the technologies - growing improved fodder - acted more as a catalyst for people to come together to discuss a wide range of other issues (dairying, health, etc). Fodder proved to be a useful 'engine' for the group to identify a much wider range of issues to address - along the whole value chain. He explains that this type of work facilitating stakeholder platforms is "not trivial." But it is essential: "Technology is only one small part of the equation and really a lot of it is about human interactions and how organizations behave." He concludes: "We have lots of promising technologies, but in themselves they are not enough to bring about widespread change in livestock systems." More information on this project: http://fodder-adoption-project.wikisp.... First published in December 2009.

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